Eximbank’s headquarters in west Yeouido. (Eximbank)
Yeouido, packed with financial companies and home to the National Assembly, was on its guard against the new coronavirus on Friday following news of confirmed cases in the area.
The state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea said early in the morning that one of its employees was confirmed with COVID-19 around 7:30 p.m. the previous day.
The bank immediately initiated emergency measures, shutting down its headquarters in west Yeouido and carrying out extensive quarantine.
Some 800 employees were ordered to work from home, while a limited number with protection equipment commuted to take charge of system maintenance, facility management and fund transfers, officials said.
The bank is slated to resume normal operations Monday.
The confirmed case at Eximbank sent shockwaves through the surrounding financial district. Eximbank employees and staff of the neighboring Korea Development Bank, the nation’s largest state-run bank, frequent the same food street.
The KDB issued a special order to employees to refrain contact with their Eximbank counterparts and minimize inter-floor movement on the day.
IFC Seoul, the largest mall just across the road from Eximbank, also announced that it will shut down its mall area for the day, following news that the confirmed patient had recently visited the area.
Several bank branches have halted operations for quarantine upon confirmed cases of infection, but the Eximbank case marked the first time a bank’s headquarters was shut down.
On Wednesday, Woori Bank’s headquarters in central Seoul carried out a partial quarantine of its basement floor after the visit of a confirmed patient.
On Thursday, the construction site of Parc One -- a megasized complex in East Yeouido -- was shut down temporarily as one of the workers there tested positive for COVID-19.
The National Assembly also shut down several of its facilities and carried out quarantine from Monday to Tuesday after the visit of confirmed patients.
By Bae Hyun-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)